Stockton, California is a vibrant, diverse city on the banks of the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley. Located less than two hours from both San Francisco and Sacramento, Stockton offers visitors a unique blend of urban, suburban, and rural attractions. From outdoor recreation to cultural attractions and delicious cuisine, Stockton has something for everyone.
The city’s many parks and trails provide opportunities for running, biking, fishing, and more. Historic buildings, murals, and other public art installations make it easy to explore the culture and history of Stockton. The city also boasts a variety of restaurants offering everything from Mexican and Italian to Chinese and Thai. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or an exciting day trip, Stockton has plenty to offer.
Here are 10 places to visit in Stockton, CA and 5 to avoid.
1. Miracle Mile Shopping Center
Miracle Mile Shopping Center is one of Stockton’s premier shopping destinations. This outdoor mall features more than 100 stores, including national retailers like Macy’s, JCPenney, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. The center also hosts a variety of restaurants, from casual eateries to upscale dining. Miracle Mile Shopping Center is the perfect place to spend the day shopping, dining, and exploring.
2. Weber Point Events Center
Weber Point Events Center is a popular destination for festivals, concerts, and other events. Located on the waterfront, this outdoor venue offers stunning views of the San Joaquin River and the surrounding area. The center hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from music festivals to art shows. It’s the perfect place to spend a day or night enjoying the sights and sounds of Stockton.
3. Haggin Museum
The Haggin Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Stockton’s rich history and culture. This museum houses a collection of fine art, historic artifacts, and other items related to the city’s past. Permanent and rotating exhibitions give visitors a glimpse into Stockton’s past and present. The museum also hosts a variety of educational programs and events, making it an ideal destination for all ages.
4. Stockton Arena
Stockton Arena is home to the Stockton Heat, a minor league hockey team. This arena hosts a variety of events, including concerts, family shows, and sporting events. Whether you’re looking to catch a game or enjoy a concert, Stockton Arena is the perfect place to spend an evening.
5. Bob Hope Theater
The Bob Hope Theater is a historic theater located in downtown Stockton. Built in the 1930s, this theater has been a popular destination for movies, concerts, and other events. Today, the theater hosts a variety of shows and performances, from comedy acts to musicals. Visitors can also explore the theater’s art deco lobby and take a guided tour of the building.
6. University of the Pacific
University of the Pacific is a private university located in Stockton. Founded in 1851, this university is the oldest chartered institution of higher learning in California. With its beautiful campus and academic programs, the university is a popular destination for visitors. Tourists can explore the university’s museums, gardens, and other attractions.
7. Oak Grove Regional Park
Oak Grove Regional Park is a popular destination for outdoor recreation. Located on the banks of the San Joaquin River, this park offers a variety of activities, from camping and fishing to hiking and biking. Visitors can also explore the park’s nature center, which features a variety of exhibits and interactive displays.
8. Stockton Waterfront
The Stockton Waterfront is a popular destination for visitors. With its restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues, this area is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Visitors can explore the boardwalk, which offers stunning views of the river and downtown Stockton. There are also a variety of boat tours available for those looking to explore the area by water.
9. Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium
The Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium is a popular destination for concerts, shows, and other events. This historic auditorium has hosted a variety of performers, from classical musicians to modern rock bands. Visitors can also explore the building’s art deco style and take a guided tour of the building.
10. Sherwood Mall
Sherwood Mall is a popular shopping destination in Stockton. This mall features a variety of stores, from national retailers to local boutiques. The mall also hosts a variety of restaurants, from fast food to full-service dining. Whether you’re looking for a new outfit or a delicious meal, Sherwood Mall is the perfect place to shop and dine.
Places to Avoid in Stockton, CA
1. Rough Neighborhoods
Stockton is a large city with many neighborhoods. While most of the city is safe, there are some areas that have higher crime rates and should be avoided. If you are visiting Stockton, it is best to stick to well-lit and populated areas.
2. West Lane Avenue
West Lane Avenue is a major thoroughfare in Stockton, but it is known to be dangerous at night. The area is known for its high crime rate, and visitors should avoid walking or driving through it after dark.
3. Highway 99
Highway 99 is a major highway that runs through Stockton and connects the city to Sacramento and Fresno. While the highway is a convenient way to travel between cities, it is also known for its high accident rate. If you must travel on Highway 99, it is best to do so during the day and avoid driving at night.
4. Airport Area
The area around the Stockton Metropolitan Airport is known to be dangerous, especially at night. The area is known for its high crime rate, so it is best to avoid it if possible.
5. Quail Lakes Drive
Quail Lakes Drive is a major thoroughfare in Stockton, but it is known to be dangerous at night. The area is known for its high crime rate, so it is best to avoid it if possible.